Normal

I cover my ears
I cover my hand
I cover my eyes
Sometimes I wonder about this life I live
I wonder if this is the extent
if this is what I’ll feel for the next day, week, month, year, until my death
I’m a heartbreak kid.
There’s no going back, I told my therapist -there’s no normal for me.
Define normal she asked me
I thought a little and smiled. I see what you’re doing.
We’re going to talk about the illusion of normal, of stability, of that one day.
I know about my delusions thankyouverymuch.
So I’ll say I don’t know normal
But I know I’m not that
How do you know?
B/c you can tell when you watch the way people talk
the way they laugh
the way they move – it’s not anything tangible or physical
it’s something sentimental
something you feel like when you touch the grooves of cracked porcelain
as texturous as running your fingers over the cracks on asphalt
It’s something you feel. It’s in our blueprints, our DNA, our pack mentality
a binary yes/no and let me tell you you just know when your mind says no,
that’s not normal.
Well where do we go from here?
B/c I realize I won’t ever have that suburban home with a happy, beautiful wife
with kids who go to school. That’s not written on my map, not in my blueprint,
not in my DNA.

 

 

My Emo Buddhist Journey

A few things resonated with me from today’s buddhist lectures: the lion buddha, a life of forced austerity, and forcing the mind through sheer will.

I was thinking about the buddha’s journey. I see my own growth as a kind of perversion of his journey. There was a period when I purposely starved myself. I ate meager portions, smoked heavily, drank cofffee to stave off hunger. One day I caught myself in the mirror, and I could see the outlines of my skull. My eyes sat deeper into their cavities and my cheeks draped over my bones. I was emaciated, dropping 20 pounds, weighing my lowest 140lbs. I slept 4 to 5 hours a day. I was always on edge, gittery, but extremely productive. It was constant survival mode, and I remember I simply didn’t operate with anxiety or depression anymore.  Until my body simply broke. I began to get sick a lot, and I remember lying in bed with a terrible fever. I kept repeating to myself that no one was going to save me anymore, and that I have to prepare my body. That’s when I began to eat enough to function. But I wasn’t ready to let myself off the hook yet.

One night, disgusted with myself and what I had done, I burned my hand. After I poured alcohol over the wounds (which hurt more than the burns!). The next few months, when the blood and skin tried to close, I would tear them off to form scars. My mom had a similar ritual performed on her arm to signify her devotion to buddhism. Of course monks did the ritual and it was regarded as ceremonious. Mine, well I was devoted to changing myself and acknowledging my mistakes.  Of course it was a perversion of a sacred ritual! And only recently did I realize it freaked everyone out haha!  My boss later told me he was worried, and my coworker remarked it looked like prison torture.

IMG_2998  IMG_4393

At this point, I was done weakening myself. I wanted to make myself as strong as possible to withstand all kinds of pain, to strengthen my mind. I started boxing, pushing my body past its limits. I went from the beginner of the class to out performing everyone else. I did more reps than everyone else. After 2hr classes, I stayed another 30 minutes to work out. I sparred 3 times a week. And the whole time, I had very self-destructive mantras running through my head. I repeated to myself “You’re weak. You hurt her because you were weak.” Or “No one gives a fuck about your pain!” Or “I hate myself. I did this. I deserve pain.” It became a ritual to ignore my pain. I excelled in the gym. I excelled at work, scoring donation after donation. I outworked my coworkers. Carry that over there. No problem. Every opportunity to work, I went after it. I was trying to find my breaking point. And at last I found it. My body was breaking down…

My back muscle was full of knots. My legs were constantly sore.  I was always achy. My bones would creak. I grew resentful of my coworkers when I noticed they were taking the easier way out. And then I had a mental break at work when my boss invited me  upstairs to ask what was wrong. It just felt… too vulnerable. He was the first person to ask in so long.

The buddha broke his fast when a woman offered him food. The lecture at some point turned to how the buddha needed to be ok accepting other’s compassion. Letting people help you is also a sign of compassion for yourself and for them. It’s telling them they’re doing something right, and it allows them to continue helping others… A month ago, my sister and I reconnected on a deeper level. We ended up talking a lot after eating dinner with my parents.

We talked about so many things… about our fucked up childhood with our mom. about how we both looked up to our dad but he failed us. about how we’re both looking for that feeling of home. about how even though we don’t talk much anymore, we understand each other on a deeper level because we lived through the same thing. i asked if she felt any resentment toward me. And she told me that of our family, she loved me the most.

I have a lion on my forearm. The lion buddha is supposed to represent strength and truth. I didn’t know any of this when I got that tattoo but I think a lot my story has been about finding strength and truth. I left my wonderful relationship when it was absolutely in my favor to stay. I left because I didn’t appreciate her anymore. That night after I told her, I fell asleep with a lot of remorse actually. She told me a while back that it seemed inconsiderate that I fell asleep. But I’ve been haboring so much pain. I wanted her to be with someone who could love her. I wanted her to be happy because I could tell she wasn’t happy anymore. And I wanted to go back to her, even now, because I wish I could be this version of myself for her. I wanted to share my growth with her. I think back with so much remorse still because I wished we could have grown together. But I have to accept that things weren’t ideal. That I am everything I am today because I chose to face the truth.

I can’t force things out of sheer will. I wanted to quit. I wanted to pursue psychology. I wanted to move far, far away. But until my consciousness is entirely integrated, until my body fully agrees, I’ll always be pulled back to my old ways. The buddha tried to force his way to enlightenment through sheer willpower, his fast, but something held him back. And maybe the whole point of my stupid meandering journey, maybe my “enlightenment”, is that I should be OK with myself. That somehow after years of physical, mental, emotional abuse, after being abandoned, ignored, and labeled as undesirable, and worse, after the terrible damage I’ve propagated onto the one person I loved the most, that despite all that, I’m a person worthy of love…

For all my terrible flaws, I’m incredibly brave, compassionate, resilient, strong-willed, creative, and hardworking. It won’t sink in all at once, but I think one day I’ll  be OK with myself. I’m not at war with myself anymore. I still fight myself everyday, but I’m not trying to kill any side of me anymore. Maybe one day, I’ll truly feel it with my entire self.

 

I am a woman who plucks wildflowers and places them in vinyl vases that sit by the windowsill. I watch them drink sunlight but still they wilt like my soul as I wait for you. In another life you stole flowers from their homes because they stole your breath. You plucked them without remorse and handed them to me to pocket. I partook in your crimes and in turn handed you the ones that caught my eye. You kept all of them. Wildflowers and skin pressed between pages to dry. Roses. Dandelions. Leaves. Little sunflowers. Our findings from prairies. From fields we roamed. From the streets where I watched you walk in dusk light. From the supermarkets, from the florists, from our backyards, and on the side of the road. I might have imagined that you returned home with a bouquet bundled in love and twine for me. The flowers rested most beautiful most peaceful together. It was only my imagination that you returned from gold fields. The sun setting at my windowsill we’ll get it right in another life.

patrick

I read something that I wish I could say to you. Maybe you’ll read this one day.

“I know you have suffered a lot. I know I have contribute to your suffering. I haven’t been very mindful or skillful. I didn’t understand your suffering and difficulties enough. I have said and done things that made the situation worse. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you. Your happiness, safety, freedom, and joy are important to me.  Because I have been caught in my own suffering, I may have given you the impression that I wanted to make you suffer… your happiness is crucial to my happiness.” From How to Fight by Thich Nhat Hanh

I will not shy away from what I’ve done to you.  And if loneliness is my punishment until I’ve truly learned, then throw some peanuts my way. Say I do learn self-love and I become a better partner, I’ll always feel sad I couldn’t be him for you. But enough of this sad shit.

My therapist told me to draw my depression as something tangible. I drew a roach, and named him Kafka. A while back, I was at a bar and the saddest dude somehow told me his whole depression story. He told me he felt like the bug dude from Metamorphosis. I asked for his name. He said it didn’t matter. Honestly, he was a neckbeardy kind of guy. I was abhorred. Dude why would you say that. I know you’re depressed. I get it man. It really sucks. But you gotta start changing things up. Get out of your room when you feel it coming. Starting working out. Try to make the right friends. And watch some Jordan Peterson videos. Read his book! Haha, looking back from now, I should follow my own advice.

Anyways, I’ll have to deal with Kafka next session.

I’m just a dude figuring shit out. I’m just a dude trying my best. I’m just a dude who wants things to be OK. I’m just a dude playing a dude disguised as another dude.

I need to rehearse actions out of love rather than sadness -that’s gay.

No Return, Bruh

No return, Bruh
No halcyon days
No pretty pictures
that never were
I sell myself
timeshare, real estate
of paradise past
but you know you full of shit
you know you marketing
you want to sell an idea.
my job is to sell ideas
writing is selling ideas
that we’re happy
that we’re together
that we’re one big fucking family
that people want to help
I just want to be real
I just want a home
I want a real estate in my head
I want that 4 room home
I want that dinner at the table
tell-me-about-your-day fantasy
those feelings on feelings
fabricated on meh moments
meh meh meh meh meh
and you look back like
that was nice but
you were anxious
you were longing
you were waiting
to create another paradise past
but I’m going to be honest
Honest, I felt right in your arms
Honest, I lied when I said
I don’t love you anymore.
Bruh, but I don’t know if I do love you anymore.

Is it just time and space? I miss your face.
We’re just floating around accidental like, Jenny!

Quiet night, full moon
early morning, outline
of the horizon, escape
me. Let you go
without words. Breathe
you out. Your fingers
unclutch mine. You’re
already gone. Sleepless
I listen to nightly sounds
quiet noise, noisy nothing
thankyous and I’m sorriest
still but not as much anymore
breathe in quiet
breathe in you
and let you go
like leaves that fell
like air I’ve grasped at
like the best tie to my past

Is yoga supposed to make you sad? Every time I got into a deep stretch and closed my eyes, I saw you. It’s always this class too. This is the most relaxing classes where you just lay there, and for whatever reason it’s the most difficult for me. I find it so hard to relax. Every time, I keep seeing you. After class, I just feel so weak too. I rather by exhausted than sad like this.  I feel like I’m being haunted by your ghost. Is this what I deserve? Am I not allowed to feel any relief from you?